The other night during our NonClinicalJobs conference call with Dr. Steven Peskin, someone asked whether board certification was a requirement for non-clinical jobs within the pharmaceutical industry. Depending on the type of job, board certification, residency, or medical licenses are not required.
In general, an active medical license will not be required for most jobs where you are directly employed by a pharmaceutical company. Some physicians who work for a pharma company may choose to moonlight once/month, so you'll need a medical license if you plan to do that.
Residency and/or board certification (active or previous) may be required for certain positions that require you to oversee certain areas of specialization. Keep in mind that some cardiovascular clinical studies may get managed by an internist who works within a pharmaceutical company. Or, a clinical study involving orthopedic surgery may be managed by a pharmaceutical VP of Medical Affairs who is a general pediatrician. Therefore, if you're a generalist, you may have the opportunity to expand into specialty areas. If you're already a specialist, then you may not have an easy time expanding into other specialty areas that don't specifically overlap with your specialty (eg, if you're a psychiatrist, you probably won't oversee oncology studies).
Remember that many of these pharmaceutical jobs are filled by professionals who have a PharmD or PhD. Therefore, residency training is often not a requirement for many positions in the pharmaceutical industry.
If you missed our "Let's Talk NonClinicalJobs" call about physician jobs in the pharmaceutical industry, you can access the recording to Part 1 here.
Dr. Joseph Kim is the founder of NonClinicalJobs.com, an independent website owned and operated by Dr. Kim. He is also the President of MCM Education, a professional medical education and publishing company that develops continuing medical education (CME) activities in joint sponsorship with medical universities, hospitals, and medical associations. Dr. Kim is a digital entrepreneur and technologist who has a passion for health information technology, mobile health, and social media. He frequently speaks at conferences about non-clinical careers for physicians, continuing medical education, mobile health technology, and social media in medicine. Dr. Kim holds a bachelor of science in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a doctorate of medicine from the University of Arkansas College of Medicine, and a master of public health from the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health.